Friday, June 29, 2007


Rather, it's supposed to. Things that occur naturally occur in a downhill trickle. I can't think of anything that occurs without interference or force that travels UPhill. It's a battle. It's hard. It's not, well, natural. Family's like that too. Rather, it's supposed to be. Happens that way naturally. There are parents, then children, then their children, and so on. Goes from senior to junior. Old to young. Big to little. Life goes on and the grand circle of life is that more children come and our seniors' leave our earth and we don't get to see them, visit with them. For awhile. A lonnnnnnnnng while, it will seem, to us.

So. My Uncle David, who is seventy five years of age, will die within the weekend, says his hospice worker. He has been my uncle for forty seven years. My only one. He's been Daddy to my cousins for 49, 45, and 42 years respectively, Daddy in law to their spouses, and Grandaddy for 19 years 7 times over.

He has been a husband for 51 years, and a brother for 74 years.

But he has been his Mama's boy for 75 years. And she is 101 years old.

Throughout his illness I can't even count the times I've heard You're not supposed to bury your son...., and now I can't remember how many of those times someone else was saying it and how many I was just feeling it, repeating it, hearing it in my own heart. It's a battle. It's hard. It's not, well, natural.

Grief is a selfish emotion, for the most part. Rather, if you believe in my God that's the case. There'll be a hole where my Uncle David was. On the earth, in my heart, at the table, in the family, just - sort of - in the air. World's not the same. Can't call him. Not that I would've. Right then. Can't hear his voice if I want to. Not that I would've wanted to. Right then. I just . . . . . can't. My whole world, family, * e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g* dynamic will be always different, and I won't ever get it back. Notice how many I's there are in there? Selfish. Selfish emotion.

For the part that's not the most part, I guess what's left is sorrow for the loss of my Uncle David's life. . . that he's losing it, that he's going through what the disease has put him through, that his dignity has been robbed, if he knows that it has, that his immediate family is in such unbearable pain, that his death won't be the end of the pain but the beginning of a different kind of pain for them, that his grandchildren will grow the rest of their years without their "Pa".

That my Mama is losing her brother.

So I have a couple of coping mechanisms for dealing with grief. Wanna hear 'em? Here they are. I write. (Duh.) I clean, move stuff around, I cook, and I clothes shop (this one has always seemed strange to me but I think I've figured it out. Clothes shopping isn't something I do recreationally; it is enjoyable but takes extreme concentration for me and so - TAH DAH! - guess what I push to the back of me pea brain).

When each visit with your uncle may be your last you remember every nano-second of it. I do. I remember when he lifts his finger. Twitches his leg. Opens his eyes. Turns his head toward me, away from me- the reason I remember THAT so well is because I think OK, he's gonna know me this onnnnnnneeee last time.

This isn't a downhill trickle. We're pushing this one up the mountain.

1 comment:

Bee said...

My heart is breaking with you right now. When my daddy died, I remember thinking, how can these people be rushing to work and buying gorceries and doing the one million and one things people do on a daily basis?! Don't they know that the world has changed forever?! That the sun has lost some of it's "shine" today?

I can't imagine what your uncle's dear mother must be feeling right now (hope I will never know) but I have an idea of what his children are going through. I don't think we ever feel things exactly as another does, but I think I understand how you want to memorize each visit.

I just wanted you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers this morning.